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Discretionary spending?


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... Directors were paid £2.1m in total for the year.

** The business employs 801 staff (713 restaurant staff). Average wage was £15,739 (which says it all about the industry, really).

...

Clearly that must mean a LOT of people on VERY low wages - but nevertheless it'd be interesting to hear just how that average was calculated (accounting for staff turnover, 'part-timers', etc).

If its wages divided by full-time headcount, then actually rather more than half are going to be getting below that 'average'.

The calc is based on group wage cost divided by average monthly employees. I does not specify full time employees so there may well be part timers in here. Clearly if you took only FTEs then average wage may be slightly higher.

Then again the calc also includes the three directors who accounted for about £2m of the 14m employee costs. Strip these out and average wage per employee comes down a bit. Given the disproportionate weighting here I think it is likely your assertion than median < mean is correct.

J

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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Does that work out to be about a 26% wage cost ?

Employee costs totalled 34% of full year revenues. It would be slightly higher as a % of total costs given you will be stripping operating profit out of the denominator.

I would assume GRH would have a lower than normal contribution to costs from rent due to their special hotel deals, and high contrib from cost of sales and staff due to their high end positioning.

Ta

J

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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Does that work out to be about a 26% wage cost ?

Employee costs totalled 34% of full year revenues. It would be slightly higher as a % of total costs given you will be stripping operating profit out of the denominator.

I would assume GRH would have a lower than normal contribution to costs from rent due to their special hotel deals, and high contrib from cost of sales and staff due to their high end positioning.

Ta

J

Food.

Hockey.

Food.

Hockey.

Food.

Hockey.

Accountancy.

Come on Jon admit it.

You're a bleedin' accountant.lol.

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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... Directors were paid £2.1m in total for the year.

** The business employs 801 staff (713 restaurant staff). Average wage was £15,739 (which says it all about the industry, really).

...

Clearly that must mean a LOT of people on VERY low wages - but nevertheless it'd be interesting to hear just how that average was calculated (accounting for staff turnover, 'part-timers', etc).

If its wages divided by full-time headcount, then actually rather more than half are going to be getting below that 'average'.

Remember the tronc, though - which wouldn't appear in the company accounts at all (since each tronc scheme is treated as a stand-alone employment). If they are adding an "optional" 12.5% to every bill (and that's to the total bill, including VAT), and distributing it fairly among the staff, that could bring the average wage figure up quite significantly. I guess they get most of the 12.5%, even though it is stated to be optional - say 11.5%?

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Remember the tronc, though - which wouldn't appear in the company accounts at all (since each tronc scheme is treated as a stand-alone employment).  If they are adding an "optional" 12.5% to every bill (and that's to the total bill, including VAT), and distributing it fairly among the staff, that could bring the average wage figure up quite significantly.  I guess they get most of the 12.5%, even though it is stated to be optional - say 11.5%?

Don't most of the larger outfits put service charges through the PAYE system though? (Or in some cases actually make up the wages to minimum out of tips :sad: )

Even with a separate troncmaster HMRC are keen on getting their class 1 NI.

How would that work accounting wise if there is only the NI liability appearing and not the income that it has been derived from.

Thinking aloud, don't know. :wacko:

I always tip in cash in the vain hope that the staff will see it without deductions.

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Remember the tronc, though -

Don't most of the larger outfits put service charges through the PAYE system though? (Or in some cases actually make up the wages to minimum out of tips :sad: )

AIUI, there's a difference between the 'compulsory' service charge, which for tax purposes is treated as if it were part of the normal wage bill once dividied, and is the responsibility of the employer, and the tronc which is totally separate, and is legally not regarded as the responsibility of the employer in any way. NI and PAYE are paid on the former through the normal systems, while on the latter it is up to the employee.

I would wonder, then, how many people would put extra service on top of the 'optional/compulsory' service charge in top-end places? WHich might suggest the accounting figures do include the majority of service amounts.

((Some employers try to have it both ways, not paying NI and tax on tips, but claiming them as contributing towards minimum wage...))

It no longer exists, but it was lovely.

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Remember the tronc, though -

Don't most of the larger outfits put service charges through the PAYE system though? (Or in some cases actually make up the wages to minimum out of tips :sad: )

AIUI, there's a difference between the 'compulsory' service charge, which for tax purposes is treated as if it were part of the normal wage bill once dividied, and is the responsibility of the employer, and the tronc which is totally separate, and is legally not regarded as the responsibility of the employer in any way. NI and PAYE are paid on the former through the normal systems, while on the latter it is up to the employee.

I would wonder, then, how many people would put extra service on top of the 'optional/compulsory' service charge in top-end places? WHich might suggest the accounting figures do include the majority of service amounts.

((Some employers try to have it both ways, not paying NI and tax on tips, but claiming them as contributing towards minimum wage...))

It's right that a compulsory service charge is just part of wages, but of course rare to see a service charge not described as "optional" for that very reason.

The tronc is a separate employment. There should not be any NI, but PAYE on the tronc is not simply the responsibility of the employee. There have to be one or more troncmasters, elected by the staff and not imposed by the employer. The troncmaster operates a separate PAYE scheme, and has to deduct Basic Rate tax on 100% of any tronc on payments by credit card, debit card or cheque. This is paid over to HMRC, and the troncmaster is personally liable to HMRC if this is not done.

Each scheme member gets a P60 at the year end (or a P45 if they leave during the year). They can claim tax overpaid back, or have to pay Higher Rate tax as appropriate.

Cash tips, on the other hand, can go directly to the employees without deduction of tax, and they strictly should declare put it on their tax returns, but in practice I doubt this happens very often.

I think that most people would agree that ideally menu prices should include service, as in France and Italy, and customers should just leave an extra "pourboire" in cash if they have been particularly happy with the service, but it simply won't happen here while the PAYE and NIC systems are so arranged against all-inclusive prices.

I think that the government is planning to restrict tax advantages for employers using the tronc to make wages up to the minimum wage, but it's perfectly legal for the moment.

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A flyer has arrived from dreary South Manchester old-timer, the Moss Nook. It advertises a five course taster lunch (canape & coffee counting as two) for £21. Or two courses for £15.

Nice to see their a la carte still features a peppered steak and duck breast. That'll be the well done duck breast "as that's how our customers like it". Plus ca change, etc.

The Moss Nook is just about near enough to walk to but I'm really not sure whether I can be arsed with this offer.

John Hartley

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A flyer has arrived from dreary South Manchester old-timer, the Moss Nook. It advertises a five course taster lunch (canape & coffee counting as two) for £21. Or two courses for £15.

Nice to see their a la carte still features a peppered steak and duck breast. That'll be the well done duck breast "as that's how our customers like it". Plus ca change, etc.

The Moss Nook is just about near enough to walk to but I'm really not sure whether I can be arsed with this offer.

Its years,and years,since we went there.

It used to be OKish

Spotted the odd "Corie" star or three, during its heyday

Not to mention the odd football manager.

"Odd" perhaps being appropriate looking back

Ah memories!

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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David

It used to be our "special occasion" place back in the early 80s. Then we went off it for years. Went back for dinner about 18 months ago (just to see what it was like now) and it really was well past its sell-by date. Mercifully, they had stopped doing the "dome lifting" nonsense but the menu would have felt very familiar to someone doing a time-leap forward 25 years.

That said, it was reasonably busy and obviously serving a loyal customer base. But those customers are now pretty elderly - I am in my late 50s and felt like a spring chicken in comparison with other tables.

Ok, I've now convinced myself I'll pass on the taster lunch offer.

John

John Hartley

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Nice to see their a la carte still features a peppered steak and duck breast. That'll be the well done duck breast "as that's how our customers like it". Plus ca change, etc.

Its years,and years,since we went there.

It used to be OKish

Spotted the odd "Corie" star or three, during its heyday

Not to mention the odd football manager.

"Odd" perhaps being appropriate looking back

Ah memories!

Wow that does bring back memories.

It must be over twenty years since i last went to the Moss Nook, 1987? At the time there was very little in Manchester of any quality and no matter what our thoughts on the food there today you could get more than a decent meal in the late 80s. I would eat there on my own probably 3 or 4 times a month, order wines that cost more than my car. I hated the whole cloche nonsense and thought the practise of decanting every red wine irrespective of age a little pretentious. Raspberries were certainly a la mode back then whether in coulis or vinegar format. I had quite a few duck and raspberry vinaigrette salads, duck served quite pink if I recall.

One dish I will always remember and it still makes me slightly sick even now, it was the Warren Buffet of richness, snails cooked in garlic butter, wrapped in puff pastry baked and covered in thick garlic cream sauce served with small pieces of fried Bury black pudding, tasted good mind in an 80s kind of way.

Once had a heated debate with Stuart Hall (for those of a certain age) of all people because I would not sit and join him and his TV friends for a drink at his table in the end being the wine slag that I was, err... am I drank a few gratis glasses of some quite decent red. Though I don’t remember why I had to ask him why his travel agency off Chapel St opposite the hospital was called Stuart Hall International Travel

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  • 2 weeks later...

This week’s Food Programme on BBC Radio 4 (available for online listening until Sunday) deals at length with the effect of the credit crunch on the British restaurant trade. The most ominous threat, dealt with at the end of the programme, is the trend towards firing skilled chefs and buying in prepared components and even complete dishes from mass-producing commercial suppliers. As the latter move up market, it’s a trend that is sneaking in the service entrances, not only of gastropubs, but of respectable upper-middle establishments.

John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

Top Google/MSN hit for Paris Bistros

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i thought gennaro c. had been out and about opening 'jamies italians' for him for some time now, so maybe it's out of choice not recession.

Although he's not cooked there for three years, he's still a director of the company that owns it.

According to this information, it was a fall in trade

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=206...2il0&refer=muse

I wonder how much the business was affected by Contaldo not being there, as he is such a big personality?

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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Its not all doom and gloom. Yesterday I had lunch in a restaurant that was thriving despite, or maybe because of, the credit crunch.

This was le Bistrot Pierre in Nottingham. Its a small chain with 5 other branches, formed I've subsequently read from the 2005 amalgamation of Pierre Victoire and PeeVee.

I hadn't booked, apparently they don't take lunchtime bookings, but turned up five minutes after the noon opening. I was amazed to find the place heaving and to be offered the only remaining table. My waitress explained that customers routinely queue before midday. I also observed staff turn away a stream of hopeful diners during the next 90 minutes or so.

The secret of their success seems to be the use of a (sole offer at lunch) fixed price menu of £8.95/2 courses, £10.95/3 courses, five choices for each course with an additional option for each on the specials board.

Standard bistro fare, unsurprisingly. rather than fine dining, dishes were well executed and ample enough in size. Service was friendly and efficient. I came away thinking that every large town or city would benefit from a similar restaurant which should be viable, even in the present downturn.

I hope that le Gavroche for lunch next Tuesday with my wife provides similar QPR.

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